Recently I was lucky enough to be given 2 free bottles of ginger beer by the lovely Joanne Mortlock of Love Pop Ups – London. One of which was Fentiman’s Traditional Ginger Beer and the other was Umbrella Brewing Ginger Beer.
Let’s start with Fentiman’s Traditional Ginger Beer. I found it to be very fizzy. It’s not too sweet but has lots of heat that hits you at the back of your throat. I’m usually a drinker of Jamaican Ginger Beer so this was a lot different to that. I couldn’t taste a lot of ginger, just the heat you get from it. To be honest, I didn’t think much of it on it’s own so I thought I’d try it as a mixer as I’m guessing that’s what it’s being marketed as. I mixed it with some Blackwoods Premium Vodka (obviously you would normally have it with ginger ale) and the ginger beer was lost. It couldn’t stand up to the vodka taste. Perhaps it’s just my taste but I probably won’t have it again.
Next up is Umbrella Brewing Ginger Beer. This is only the second alcoholic ginger beer I’ve ever tried after Crabbie’s. Crabbies, as far as I can tell, is aimed at drinkers of the more commercial ciders such as Bulmers and Kopparberg. Umbrella Brewing seem to be trying to find a different audience. On the bottle they say it is “cloudy, fiery and alcoholic” and the happily hit all of those posts. It’s a really earthy, spicy ginger beer which has a surprisingly sweet nose, like stem ginger. This sweet nose quickly gives way to fiery intensity which I found rather pleasing. I’ll keep my eye out for this one in the shops!
I can only suggest that you pop out and try them for yourselves and let me know what you think!